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Village polls peaceful

VOTERS line up outside the Zamora Elementary School in Pasay City to look for their names and  precinct number before casting their votes during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections yesterday. (Mb photo | Ali Vicoy)

VOTERS line up outside the Zamora Elementary School in Pasay City to look for their names and precinct number before casting their votes during the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections yesterday. (MB photo | Ali Vicoy)

By GENALYN D. KABILING

The conduct of the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections yesterday was generally peaceful based on the reports from the police and military, a Palace official said yesterday.

The military and police reports about this year’s village and youth elections were sent to the Office of the President for regular updates, according to Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go.

“As of now naman mayroong mga iilang insidente, pero generally peaceful naman po,” Go said in an interview with DZRH.

He said the President has earlier directed the police and military to “stay neutral” and keep peace and order during the elections.

Go, however, acknowledged that cases of violence and allegations of vote-buying have marred the elections.

In the Davao region, Go said the elections were also generally peaceful although there was a reported shooting of an incumbent barangay captain of Barangay Pangyan, Calinan, Davao City. He was referring to Antonio Guatno who was shot by authorities after allegedly resisting an implementation of a search warrant for illegal possession of firearms.

Go said they also received reports of alleged vote buying in some places. He noted that vote-buying allegations hurled by rival political parties against each other cannot be avoided especially in bitterly contested polls.

Go, however, pointed out that poverty was not a valid reason for a person to sell his ballot during elections.

He instead encouraged the public to “go out and vote wisely,” saying the future of their community was at stake. He said barangay leaders provide the frontline services to the constituents especially in times of disasters and other emergencies.

“Huwag ninyong sayangin po ang inyong karapatan ninyong bumuto; bumuto kayo ng tama,” he said.

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